Old Man Dragon
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26 Freedom?
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Old Man Dragon
Author :Redwinter
© Webnovel

26 Freedom?

Finn had been told before about how his abilities could be used to heal others. Of course, he never understood how to do so until now, because he never had a suitable target to practice on.

Watching in amazement, Finn continued to pour his internal healing energy onto the festering gash that would likely claim the python's life eventually.

Infection and gangrene were not to be underestimated!

Wait... could microorganisms here also feed off this energy... Now that he thought about it, this did seem highly possible. If humans and animals could use this so called magic, what's to stop, let's say bacteria, from doing the same?

The possibilities and implications of this left his head spinning. While he was busy thinking, the python watched and felt as its fatal wound slowly mended itself.

Muscle and tissue regrew and connected with other muscles and tissues. Dead cells were quickly shed off and pockets of puss burst and flowed out of the affected area, leaving behind stains of yellow on its scales.

There was a twinkle of intelligence in its eyes. Its judgement had proven fruitful in sparing the small prey.

Finn continued for a few hours until he ran out of energy. Bypassing the natural mechanism in his throat that turned it violent was not easy and required constant concentration, meaning he couldn't both heal and absorb energy from the sun at the same time.

He didn't want it accidentally turning from a healing yellow light energy into a superheated beam of brilliant searing light.

I'm assuming the enourmous python would not appreciate its exposed and sensitive tissues being cooked suddenly... Finn remained vigilant throughout the process.

When he could no longer continue, Finn struggled to remain standing. He had unknowingly remained extremely tense throughout the whole process and suddenly relaxing caused a bit of vertigo.

Hopefully, this beast understands that I need to rest... Finn examined his progress. Only about a fourth of the wound had regrown, but the stink of rot and decay was almost gone.

From what he learned, Finn knew that magical beasts of higher ranks generally had stronger constitutions. He assumed it had something to do with their bodies being strengthened by the elemental energies they absorbed.

Unfortunately, his understanding on this concept was limited to vague knowledge from the bestiary.

All that being said, Finn hypothesized that the python could likely survive with a nasty scar in its current condition if he did nothing else.

Though, it's unlikely to just let me leave now... Finn lay down to rest and recover his drained core energy. Meanwhile the python, as Finn expected, curled its body tighter around him.

There is zero chance of escape... Finn watched his prison constrict tighter and tighter.

At least it's less likely to just kill me... hopefully. Healing the python must have brought it some goodwill towards me, right? Finn closed his eyes and began resuming his function as a solar panel.


Grumble...

Finn was suddenly forced to stop after only ten minutes, a spasm in his stomach breaking his concentration.

So hungry... Finn actually felt pain in his abdominal region. He couldn't remember the last time he had felt hungry. Bryn had always made sure to give him plenty of fish and occasional cooked meat.

I hope he is safe... Finn shook off the surge of melancholy that came with thinking of the boy.

Looking up, Finn couldn't see the python's head watching him, but he could see its long body expanding and contracting slowly.

Is this how it breathes? Hmm...

Finn guessed that the python was likely sleeping. While Finn was recovering his energy, the python was likely trying to recover on its own too.

Seeing how he was in the clear for the moment, Finn waltzed right up to the corpse that the snake had brought for him earlier, which had been just sitting there the entire time.

If he was his old self, before he arrived on this world, he would have been quite reluctant to simply eat a random animal carcass thrown in front of him.

Now though, Finn could only describe how he felt as though he was walking into a buffet!

My food palette has really been numbed... Finn lampooned as he drooled uncontrollably in front of the carcass that slightly resembled a buffalo.

His taste buds had indeed changed when he became a lizard. He could eat meat both cooked and raw and it all tasted amazing.

However, he still preferred cooked meat over raw meat, mostly because of old habits. Also, cooked meat usually was seasoned, which made it tastier in his opinion.

Now though, he would work with what he had. Using his claws, Finn sliced open the hide, revealing the muscle underneath.

It hadn't been too long ago that the python had killed this... Finn quickly recognized. It still bled from where he sliced it open, the smell only making Finn drool more.

Gouging a chunk of its meat out, Finn opened his mouth and released a controlled beam of bright light that started cooking the flesh.

Having learned to cook things with his power with Bryn, Finn was quite pleased to be putting it into practice now.

The smell of cooked meat began permeating the surroundings, and Finn could barely hold himself back from just diving in.

His self control won out, and he finished slicing off portions before cooking them.

Cooking with light, what a novel concept... Finn was just about to start eating the small feast he prepared for himself when he suddenly shuddered...

The danger sense of his was triggered!

Looking behind himself slowly, he discovered that the python had been watching him with its mesmerizing blue eyes.

The python was close enough to where Finn could see just how much it dwarfed him in size. It was quite intimidating!

It likely smelled the cooking of meat... Finn made a logical assumption. Erring on the side of caution, Finn slowly scooted a few slabs of cooked meat behind himself towards the python.

Tilting its head, the python licked the offering before grabbing and swallowing it. It then ignored Finn, resting its head on its body and closing its eyes.

Deciding to not be disgruntled at the loss of food, Finn started consuming the remaining portions. I can always just cook some more...

There was still a lot more untouched meat on the buffalo-like creature. Finn wouldn't be going hungry anytime soon.

Feeling the pleasure from satisfying his starving body, Finn collapsed onto the dirt and grass. Content with his full stomach, he resumed basking in the sunlight.

Finn was still thirsty, but having solved one immediate issue would have to be enough for the moment.

Healing the python was taking much longer than when he healed himself. In fact, Finn even felt a slight resistance when as he pushed his energy into its wound.

Why is this? Finn recalled what he learned from both reading and Bryn's teachings. He remembered a passage about clashes of differing elemental affinities.

Was this the reason? This python clearly has a wind affinity while I have a light affinity. There is an innate natural rejection? Interesting... Finn wished he had been reborn into this world with a manual or something.

Having to learn everything from scratch about this world's magical nature was really quite a hassle!

It wasn't just this though. Before he had started, the gash had been about the same size as Finn himself. The sheer volume of the python made healing it that much more difficult.

Time flowed by in a circle of healing and resting. Two days passed in this manner, with the python remaining completely docile.

At last, the pivotal moment arrived...

There we go! Finn took a step back to admire his handiwork. What had been a terrible, festering wound was gone without a trace, leaving behind not even a scar.

In its place, the bluish skin of the python shined healthily. The beautiful scales had not grown back in yet, but the skin itself maintained the scale pattern, indicating where they would be growing back. It was only a matter of time!

Although time is something I might not have much of... Finn felt an overwhelming sense of trepidation as the python inspected it's own wound, licking it in multiple places.

Now that my usefulness is up... will it simply eat me? Finn was not optimistic enough to expect the best result out of this situation.

Suddenly, the python turned its head towards Finn.

Looks like it's done admiring my work... Finn swallowed in fear. Maybe it...

Finn's thoughts were abruptly cut off as its head rushed towards him!

Oh no! I'm dead! Finn cowered and covered his eyes, feeling no shame in doing so.

What can one do against such overwhelming power? Finn thought as he recalled its earlier battle with the ironhide bear.

Bracing himself to be either crushed or swallowed, a minute passed by agonizingly slow. When Finn realized that he was still alive, he slowly peeked his eyes from under his claws.

The python's head was hovering over him, tilting his head in a confused manner. Indeed, I probably do look ridiculous... Finn mustered the courage to stand up and look the massive beast in its blue eyes.

The python slowly brought its head forward and gently connected it with Finn's in a fist-bump like fashion.

Finn felt time stop as all sound faded away. He was too mentally overwhelmed to move, or do anything really, his eyes wide open.

His first thought was that it was exactly what he did with Bryn to show affection or thanks.

A couple seconds passed, and the python moved its head away while it started slithering its massive body into the forest.

Finn cautiously looked around to see the walls of his prison grinding against each other as it moved.

Then, after some time, he finally saw the python's tail as the trunks of the surrounding trees came into view.

The tail then began following the main body and faded as the snake slithered off into the distance. Eventually, Finn lost sight of it through the trees.

.

.

.

It was almost... anticlimactic. When expecting the worst to happen, only to have nothing happen... it was a very strange feeling.

Not bad, just strange... When Finn finally broke out of his stupor he collapsed in relief. He was now free! The python, who proved to be far more intelligent than he could fathom, let him go free!

Agaisnt all odds, he had managed to survive both encounters with beasts far too powerful for him to handle. Finn was now, for the moment, safe!

Wait... am I safe? Finn got up and looked around. It was a forest. Everything looked the same...

Where even am I? Finn, having solved his python problem, now realized that he was essentially lost.

Finn felt a powerful need fill his body. He was severely dehydrated!

Internally grimacing, Finn decided that he would first find some water to drink before doing anything else.

One way or another, he would find his way home... eventually.

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